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UW Health: Developing a COVID-19 Winter Resilience Toolkit is Important for Mental Health

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Emily Kumlien
(608) 516-9154

UW Health COVID-19 Resources

UW Health: Developing a COVID-19 Winter Resilience Toolkit is Important for Mental Health

Madison, Wisconsin – Approximately 4-6 percent of the US population experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that typically occurs during the winter months, and another 10-20 percent have a milder form of the condition.

Cold weather and a lack of sunlight seem to be triggering factors for this condition, and Wisconsin will have no shortage of either one of these over the next six months.

Between the end of daylight saving time this weekend, the colder temperatures, stress related to COVID-19 and even the political divisions facing our country at election season, people are more at risk than ever to experiencing SAD and the winter blues.

But UW Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain says that developing a COVID-19 winter resilience toolkit can help people stay happier and healthier this winter. The following are some important tools that Mirgain says we should develop as we enter these winter months:

  • Be active: Regular exercise has been shown to reduce depression and help prevent it.
  • Shift your focus: Instead of dwelling on your problems turn your perspective outside of yourself, such as do a kind act, help someone, express gratitude to others or feel awe for the world around you.
  • Stay connected: Connect with others in person or virtually.
  • Get outside: Spending time outdoors is always good for mental health.
  • Engage in self-care: Eat healthy foods, prioritize good sleep, and maintain a daily routine.
  • Vitamin D3: In northern climates, like Wisconsin, the sun’s rays are not strong enough to give us what we need. Talk with your doctor about supplements. The daily recommendation in the U.S. is 1,000 international units. Mushrooms and fish are also a natural source of vitamin D.
  • Light therapy: Consider using a light therapy box, which have been proven to be effective for certain individuals with SAD.
  • Call your doctor: Speak with your physician if you experience feelings of being down and have no interest in doing the things you used to enjoy, especially if these symptoms are disruptive or you are having thoughts of suicide.

Some of the most common symptoms of SAD include loss of interest or pleasure in things typically enjoyed; fatigue; concentration problems; sleep problems; weight gain; feelings of sluggishness or restlessness; irritability; sense of helplessness or hopelessness.

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Wisconsin Bank & Trust: SBA Releases PPP Loan Data

Shawn Kesler
Regional Marketing Officer, VP

Brent Giles
President and CEO

SBA Releases PPP Loan Data
Disclosed details vary based on loan amount

July 7, 2020 – Madison, WI – On Monday, July 6, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan data at the request of Congress, media and others given the significant taxpayer commitment to the program.  This was not a decision made by Wisconsin Bank & Trust or any other bank that participated in the government program.

Names of borrowers with a PPP loan for less than $150,000 were not disclosed.  Only the city, state, zip code, number of employees that benefited, and the congressional district were disclosed for these loans, along with the name of the lender that made the loan.

For PPP loans of $150,000 or more, the SBA released the borrower’s name in addition to the business location, number of employees that benefitted and the congressional district.  The SBA released a dollar range for these loans, not the exact amounts.

“Wisconsin Bank & Trust is proud to have helped hundreds of small businesses during this difficult and challenging time,” said Brent Giles, President and CEO of WBT.  “We’ve processed 449 PPP loans of $103 million, preserving more than 11,289 jobs.”

To date, banks of all sizes have provided more than $500 billion in PPP loans to small businesses across the country, helping to preserve 51 million jobs, according to the Small Business Administration.  The size, scale and speed of the banking industry’s response was unprecedented, and we were honored to be a part of this important effort.

There is still more work to do to help businesses overcome the economic effects of the pandemic.  Wisconsin Bank & Trust will continue to support our business customers as we do our part to help fuel the economic recovery in our community.

About Wisconsin Bank & Trust

Wisconsin Bank & Trust (WBT), a subsidiary of Heartland Financial USA, Inc., (NASDAQ: HTLF), is a business-focused community bank with assets of more than $1 billion. With fifteen banking centers, Wisconsin Bank & Trust serves customers in the Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Monroe and southwest areas of Wisconsin. WBT offers a wide range of personal and business banking, private client and mortgage lending services. For more information, visit or call 608.203.1214. Wisconsin Bank & Trust is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.

About Heartland Financial USA, Inc.

Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a diversified financial services company with assets of $13.3 billion. The company provides banking, mortgage, private client, investment and insurance services to individuals and businesses. Heartland currently has 114 banking locations serving 83 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California. Additional information about Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is available at

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WPS Military Salute Award winners announced


DeAnne Boegli, Director of Communications

WPS Military Salute Award winners announced

MADISON, Wis.—June 25, 2020—WPS Health Solutions announces two winners of the WPS Military Salute Award who have helped their communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Each winner will receive a $1,000 prize to be donated to the winner’s charity of choice that is assisting in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, each winner will receive $500.

The winners are Army veteran JD Engelhardt of Madison and Beau Alan Krostag of Pittsville. Krostag is a Sergeant First Class in the Wisconsin National Guard.

WPS established the award to recognize active-duty military and veteran doctors, nurses, public safety professionals, and others who are helping their communities get through the pandemic.

Nominations were accepted through June 1 and the winners were determined by a committee of WPS employees.

About the winners:

With unwavering commitment to the health and welfare of the people in his community, Engelhardt’s leadership and volunteer efforts made a huge impact, according to Will Atkinson, who submitted the nomination.

An employee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County and described as a “linchpin” in Dane County and surrounding communities, Engelhardt leveraged his personal and professional networks to help his neighbors in need. He immediately started connecting people and organizations with available resources.

One of these initiatives was when the Medical College of Wisconsin had raw materials to make medical-grade masks, but no longer had the volunteer force to put them together for distribution. Engelhardt had the supplies—enough to make 3,500 masks—sent to him. In a span of two weeks, he worked with multiple organizations to mobilize volunteers to assemble the masks.

“I try to do what I can to make my community a better place and to that end try to build a network to help support different nonprofits, groups, and people around me,” Engelhardt said.

Engelhardt’s $1,000 donation will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County.

Krostag’s support and dedication to the electoral process during a global pandemic strengthened the democratic election process for the people in Wood County.

Krostag was among members of the Wisconsin National Guard assigned to check IDs, register voters, and clean and sanitize voting polls during the April election.

“Thanks to the efforts led by SFC Krostag, the people of Wood County, Wisconsin, were able to exercise their right to vote,” Amy Callender, wrote in her nomination.

His $1,000 donation will go to the Pittsville Area Neighbors Shelf, the food pantry in his hometown.

About WPS Health Solutions

WPS Health Solutions is a nationally regarded government contractor and a leading Wisconsin not-for-profit health insurer. The WPS Health Insurance division offers affordable health plans and benefits administration. The WPS Government Health Administrators division administers Part A and B Medicare benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states, and the WPS Military and Veterans Health division serves millions more members who are active in the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Solutions) has been based in Madison, Wis., for more than 70 years. For more information, please visit

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Timpano Group launches survey project to explore workforce strategies beyond the pandemic

Contact: Melanie Schmidt, Timpano Group president,, 608-695-7320

Madison, WI – June 12, 2020 – Timpano Group has joined forces with Blue Rock WI to explore workforce strategies through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is designed to gather insights from employers and employees about reactions to the pandemic, impressions about remote working as a viable path for progress, and general opinions about what should shape new norms in management.

The project involves surveys open for public input through June 22, interviews, and secondary research. Data gathered will be distilled into an informational report available free for interested parties across sectors, sizes, and industries at the end of the month.

Links to the surveys can be found at Responses are confidential and anonymous.

Timpano Group Chief Strategist Melanie Schmidt shared that the project was borne from a perceived gap in actionable information from which organizations could figure out their particular path forward. “We want to move beyond platitudes and surface strategies that can inform better ways of innovating organizational performance,” said Schmidt. “That kind of constructive innovation means asking people working in organizations how they would do things differently based upon what they’ve learned and experienced in the last several months.” Schmidt continued by asserting that the pandemic shone a spotlight on challenges already existing in organizations and this project will provide inspiration for organizations needing to move beyond the pandemic response.

For more information, contact Melanie Schmidt at or via phone at (608) 695-7320.

About Timpano Group: Timpano Group is a creative consultancy focused on helping organizations align their strategies, systems, people, and processes to achieve intended results. President and Chief Strategist Melanie Schmidt facilitates progress for her clients across sectors in organizations of varying sizes and interests. She lends particular expertise in strategic thinking, practical planning, talent management, and change leadership. More information is available online at

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Dane County Credit Union donates $20,000 to local non-profits

MADISON, WI – Several local non-profits are the benefactors of $20,000 in donations made by Dane County Credit Union. These donations help support organizations that are providing needed services for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in our community.

Organizations in Madison that are receiving a portion of the funds include:
• The River Food Pantry, 2201 Darwin Road, provides food, resources, and faith to build a stronger community.
• The Allied Food Pantry, 4619 Jenewein Road, Madison, is an emergency food pantry providing nutritious food for those in need.
• Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld Street, Madison, provides many programs to serve the needs of the community.
• The Road Home, 890 W. Wingra Drive, provides essential service to families who are experiencing homelessness.
• Centro Hispano, 810 West Badger Road, serves the Latino community with a variety of programs.

“Each of these organizations touches the lives of those in need within our communities,” said Shay Santos, President and CEO of Dane County Credit Union. “They provide necessary services and address real issues that are affecting people under our current circumstances, and we are grateful for all they do.”

Checks were delivered by DCCU staff to each organization while practicing proper physical distancing.

Donations provided are in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago COVID-19 Relief Program.

About Dane County Credit Union
Dane County Credit Union, a $200 million, full-service, not-for-profit financial cooperative, serves everyone who lives or works in Dane County and the surrounding counties. Dane County Credit Union currently has 4 branches in the Madison area with 20,000 members. To learn more, visit